Foltz: GPA hit new highs in 2013 | savannahnow.com

13
Sep

Foltz: GPA hit new highs in 2013 | savannahnow.com

Fiscal 2013 was yet another record year for Georgia Ports Authority, with total tonnage, autos, bulk cargo and intermodal containers hitting new highs, while a protracted strike threat stopped the authority just short of the 3 million mark needed for a new record in containers moved.

“From October to March, we estimate at least 70,000 containers were diverted from our port to the West Coast as the possibility of an East Coast dockworkers strike loomed,” GPA executive director Curtis Foltz told more than 1,250 business leaders assembled at the Savannah International Trade Center to hear his annual State of the Ports speech.

“If not for that, we would have set a new record at more than 3 million. So, given those dynamics and the economic challenges here and abroad, it was a very good year.”

Fiscal 2014 promises to be even better, Foltz said, as the area continues to pull out of its economic slump.

Intermodal containers — those that arrived and/or departed the terminal by rail — totaled 315,000, the ports’ highest number ever.

“That’s more than 300,000 containers that didn’t hit our roads.” Foltz said.

With more than 44 percent of the U.S. population best served by the Port of Savannah, GPA features 37 weekly container services, second only on the East Coast to the Port of New York/New Jersey and well ahead of Charleston and Jacksonville at 24 and 8, respectively.

“We’re really proud that we are the only East Coast port handling all six services in the major container lines’ new G-6 network,” he said.

Improvements at the port include four new super post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes, 20 new rubber-tired gantry — or overhead — cranes to work the container stacks, $5.5 million in paving and other upgrades at Ocean Terminal and 20 new refrigerated container racks on Garden City Terminal.

Perhaps the best news was the announcement from Washington a day earlier that funding approval for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project — contained in the Water Resources Development Act — had made it out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee intact.

via Foltz: GPA hit new highs in 2013 | savannahnow.com.

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